COVID-19 customer resources

We will be continuously updating this page. Last update: April 7, 2020
Please check back regularly for new information.

Important message for IDEXX customers in the United States


As a government measure designed to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus has been issued in one or more areas of our country, IDEXX has updated this page with relevant information and guidance. 

We are here to help in any way we can. While the situation is highly dynamic, veterinary care is an essential service and we are committed to providing you the products, services, and support you’ve come to trust.  We are well positioned generally to maintain your veterinary supplies and services:

  • You can continue to run in-clinic diagnostics on your IDEXX or other point-of-care instruments and rapid assays as usual, especially for urgent patients. We suggest keeping 2–4 weeks of consumables in inventory in case of transportation delays caused by flight cancellations.
     
  • With a global network of more than 80 laboratories worldwide, IDEXX is continuing to receive and process your patient specimens across our network of IDEXX Reference Laboratories.
     

Please be aware that transportation delays caused by measures implemented by national, regional, and local governments may result in delays in turnaround times at IDEXX Reference Laboratories, as well as in shipping supplies to you. We will work to keep you updated if this should occur.

To support the health and safety of you, your clients and our IDEXX employees, IDEXX will follow the guidance of local government and health authorities regarding travel and in person visits. So long as the government has approved travel within the country for business reasons, we remain available to visit. We also respect and will defer to your preference for meeting in person or remotely.

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Frequently asked questions

IDEXX does not currently offer a test for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19. The current expert understanding is that COVID-19 is primarily transmitted person to person, supporting the recommendation of leading health authorities not to test pets for the virus. Should leading health authorities determine it is clinically relevant to test pets for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, IDEXX is ready to make the IDEXX SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) RealPCR Test commercially available.

IDEXX evaluated thousands of canine and feline specimens during validation of a veterinary diagnostic test for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and has seen no positive results in pets for SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus strain responsible for the COVID-19 outbreak in humans. The specimens used for test development and validation were obtained from specimens submitted to IDEXX Reference Laboratories for diagnostic PCR panels. The specimens originated from the United States and South Korea. IDEXX has now expanded monitoring to Canada and European countries, including areas with high rates of COVID-19 in the human population. All samples tested for COVID-19 have been negative.

For dogs or cats presenting with respiratory signs, the recommendation is to contact a veterinarian to test for more common respiratory pathogens.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reports, “Infectious disease experts and multiple international and domestic human and animal health organizations agree there is no evidence at this point to indicate that pets become ill with COVID-19 or that they spread it to other animals, including people.” Leading health authorities do not recommend testing pets for the COVID-19 virus as it is primarily transmitted person to person. 

IDEXX evaluated thousands of canine and feline specimens during validation of a veterinary diagnostic test for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and have seen no positive results in pets for SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus strain responsible for the COVID-19 outbreak in humans. The specimens used for test development and validation were obtained from specimens submitted to IDEXX Reference Laboratories for diagnostic PCR panels. The specimens originated from the United States and South Korea. IDEXX has now expanded monitoring to Canada and European countries, including areas with high rates of COVID-19 in the human population. All samples tested for COVID-19 have been negative.

For dogs or cats presenting with respiratory signs, the recommendation is to contact a veterinarian to test for more common respiratory pathogens.

The global understanding of COVID-19 is ever evolving.  Experts continue to agree that transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is primarily person to person. As part of our research we have reviewed over 5,000 specimens submitted to IDEXX Reference Laboratories for respiratory tests of sick cats and dogs in 17 different countries. To date, IDEXX has seen no positive results in pets of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus strain responsible for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) respiratory outbreak in humans.

This information together with isolated reports of two dogs and two cats in Hong Kong, a cat in Belgium and now a tiger at a New York zoo showing positive results for SARS-CoV-2 testing indicates there may be varying levels of susceptibility requiring further investigation. As the research continues into the isolated positive test results in pets, we are learning that cats and ferrets may have a higher susceptibility to low level infections than dogs. With this collected body of evidence, leading veterinary and public experts continue to reassure pet owners there is low likelihood of pet infection and even lower likelihood of our pets serving as a source of infection. In symptomatic patients, it is more likely that disease is caused by more common infections than COVID-19. We learn more every day, and if we deem it clinically important to commercialize our IDEXX SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) RealPCR Test, we will make it available for veterinarians and their patients.

The global understanding of COVID-19 is ever evolving. Experts continue to agree that transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is primarily person to person. As part of our research we have reviewed over 5,000 specimens submitted to IDEXX Reference Laboratories for respiratory tests of sick cats and dogs in 17 different countries. To date, IDEXX still has seen no positive results in pets of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus strain responsible for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) respiratory outbreak in humans. This would seem to suggest dogs and cats living with infected people generally seem to remain uninfected, except in rare and isolated cases.

Note: The PCR tests referenced in relation to the Hong Kong dogs and cats, the Belgian cat and the NYC tiger were NOT done by IDEXX nor at an IDEXX Reference Laboratory.

While there is currently no evidence that dogs or cats play a role in transmitting the disease to humans, isolated reports of weak positive results for SARS-CoV-2 in two dogs and two cats in Hong Kong, a cat in Belgium and now a tiger at a New York zoo suggest there may be varying levels of susceptibility to infections in animals that require further study. Cats and ferrets may be more susceptible to clinical infections while dogs seem generally resistant to infection, likely due to species differences in their ACE receptors1-3 which the virus uses to enter the cells.1

A cat in Belgium living in close contact with a COVID-19 infected owner presented with transient respiratory signs, vomiting and diarrhea while a cat in Hong Kong that tested PCR positive did not exhibit any clinical signs. A tiger in a New York zoo is the only known big cat infected with COVID-19. Public health officials believe the tiger had been in the vicinity of a zoo employee who was positive for the COVID-19 virus. 

None of the three dogs for which PCR tests came back positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus have shown symptoms that would indicate infection. A geriatric Pomeranian dog with pre-existing conditions living in a household with infected humans in Hong Kong was reported to have tested a weak positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. At no time did the dog develop clinical signs consistent with COVID-19 infection. A second dog from the same household consistently tested negative. In another Hong Kong home, a dog living with a COVID-19 positive human also tested PCR positive for the virus but showed no clinical signs of infection. 

With this collected body of evidence, leading veterinary and public health experts continue to reassure pet owners there is low likelihood of pet infection and even lower likelihood of our pets serving as a source of infection. In symptomatic pets, it is more likely that disease is caused by a more common respiratory infection than by COVID-19. We learn more every day, and if we deem it clinically important to commercialize our IDEXX SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) RealPCR Test, we will make it available for veterinarians and their patients.
 

  1. Wan Y, Shang J, Graham R, Baric RS, Li F. Receptor recognition by the novel coronavirus from Wuhan: an analysis based on decade-long structural studies of SARS coronavirus. J Virol. 2020;94(7):e00127-20. https://doi.org/10.1128/JVI.00127-20
  2. Shi J, Wen Z, Zhong G, et al.  Susceptibility of ferrets, cats, dogs and different domestic animals to SARS-coronavirus-2. Pre-press https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.03.30.015347
  3. Kim Y, Kim SG, Kim SM, et al. Infection and rapid transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in ferrets. Pre-press https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chom.2020.03.023

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses consisting of multiple subgroups of viruses that are commonly found in humans as well as other mammals, birds, and reptiles. Common coronaviruses causing respiratory or gastrointestinal disease in our veterinary patients are alpha coronaviruses. 

  • The IDEXX Comprehensive Canine Respiratory Disease (CRD) RealPCR Panel includes the IDEXX RealPCR Test for canine respiratory coronavirus. Canine respiratory coronavirus contributes to canine infectious respiratory disease complex (also known as infectious tracheobronchitis or “kennel cough”). This panel is not a test for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19. 
  • IDEXX Comprehensive Diarrhea RealPCR panels include IDEXX RealPCR tests for canine, equine, ferret, and feline enteric coronavirus. Enteric coronaviruses can cause intestinal infections leading to diarrhea, particularly in younger animals. These panels are not a test for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19. 
  • IDEXX FIP Virus RealPCR Biotype (Add-on to Feline Coronavirus RealPCR Test) detects the most common mutations causing feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), a mutated form of feline enteric coronavirus resulting in severe, generally fatal, systemic inflammatory disease. This test is not a test for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19. 
  • IDEXX IBV Ab Test detects gamma coronavirus. Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) causes a highly contagious viral disease in chickens that is usually manifested as a respiratory condition. This test facilitates the monitoring of immune status in large flocks. This test is not a test for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19.
  • IDEXX RealPCR TGEV RNA Mix tests for swine enteric coronaviruses. Severe outbreaks of enteric coronaviruses, characterized by acute and rapidly spreading diarrhea, are threatening swine operations worldwide. This test is not a test for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19.
  • IDEXX Rota-Corona-k99 Ag Test is an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) that differentiates between rotavirus, coronavirus, and E. coli infections by antigen detection. Bovine coronaviruses may cause diarrhea in calves. They can also cause winter dysentery, with bloody diarrhea, mild respiratory signs, and decreased production in adult cattle. This test is not a test for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19.

While the situation is highly dynamic, we are committed to providing you the products, services, and support you’ve come to trust. We are well positioned generally to maintain your necessary supplies and services. We will work to keep you updated should this change. For some high-demand supplies, you may notice a maximum quantity limit when ordering.

With a global network of more than 80 IDEXX Reference Laboratories, IDEXX is continuing to receive and process your patient samples. Transportation delays caused by measures implemented by national, regional, and local governments may result in delays in turnaround times.

Some tests sent to third-party laboratories by IDEXX are experiencing delays or may be unavailable due to regional flight cancellations and lab closures. Tests that become unavailable will be removed from the online test directory. Please check the online directory or VetConnect PLUS regularly for up-to-date information.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses consisting of multiple subgroups of viruses that are commonly found in humans as well as other mammals, birds, and reptiles. Coronaviruses get their name from their spiked surface proteins, or corona, which is Latin for crown. Coronavirus infections in animals, for example feline enteric coronavirus, are commonly alpha coronaviruses.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is a unique coronavirus that infects the human respiratory tract and is different from previously identified coronaviruses infecting humans or veterinary patients. SARS-CoV-2 causes COVID-19 respiratory disease in humans and is a beta coronavirus.

COVID-19 was first detected in China with an initial outbreak in the city of Wuhan. SARS-CoV-2 is believed to have originated from bats. Since its emergence in late 2019, COVID-19 has spread to locations around the globe.

We at IDEXX understand the COVID-19 pandemic is putting a great strain on many small independently owned businesses and this is an especially challenging time for veterinary practices. 

To support you as you deal with widespread disruptions to your business, we are offering a 30-day extension to standard payment terms for all purchases made from March 1 through March 31, 2020. Payments for purchases and services provided in March will now be due on May 25, 2020. 

Given the urgency of enacting this change, our invoices and statements will continue to reflect your standard payment terms. However, these amounts will not be considered past due during this 30-day extension. Additionally, if you are currently enrolled in our autopay or direct debit programs and you wish to take advantage of this 30-day extension, please call our Customer Support team at 1-800-814-1147 to suspend your automatic payment.
 

My clinic is part of a larger corporate business. Does this program apply to my clinic?

Our relief program is designed for small businesses that are especially challenged. However, IDEXX will work closely with our corporate practice group partners to assess additional needs.

I am enrolled in autopay or a direct debit program. How do I take advantage of the 30-day payment extension?

If you are currently enrolled in our autopay or direct debit programs and wish to take advantage of this 30-day extension, please call our Customer Support team at 1-800-814-1147 to suspend your automatic payment. NOTE: Autopay customer accounts are normally processed on the second business day following the end of the previous month (April 2). We are temporarily delaying Autopay until the seventh business day (April 9) to allow time for you to call our Customer Support team if you would like to suspend your automatic payment.

IDEXX sees no COVID-19 in pets

IDEXX evaluated thousands of canine and feline specimens during validation of a new veterinary test system for the COVID-19 virus and has seen no positive results in pets to date. Read more below.

Press release: Leading Veterinary Diagnostic Company Sees No COVID-19 Cases in Pets

White paper: IDEXX SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) RealPCR Test

Diagnostic resource: Coronavirus diagnostic update, March 2020